Ex Sailors love to tell stories. Some are stories and some are sea stories which evolve as they are told over the years ☺ I was inspired to start this discussion by @usmccam who created the artwork for me (THANK YOU!) after reading a post I made with an attached story. I have been fortunate to be a member of the Pine Island Toastmasters Club in Pine Island, Minnesota which helped me evolve and taught me how to be a better speaker…well, better than what I was anyway.
I would like to start the ball rolling by sharing one of my earlier stories/speeches a from a few years ago.
The Road to Recovery
My name is John…I am a CAR-A-HOLIC.
My road to recovery has been a long struggle. It all started with my first new car. I was young and impressionable. I had a great job with IBM and I had money-to-burn…meaning “no kids”! Then it happened. I saw my first love. A 1967 Pontiac GTO. It was beautiful…pearl white with coral blue interior.
I LOVED THAT CAR!
Then reality set it. First, I found out that GTO stood for Gas, Tires, and Oil. Next, it fell victim to a neighborhood hit and run accident. After getting an estimate to have it fixed, I pulled up to an on ramp for the Harbor Freeway and seconds later heard the squealing sound of tires behind me…just in time to grab the steering wheel and hang on. A flower delivery van had pushed the trunk all the way to rear wheels. Try explaining the second accident to the insurance agent when the first one wasn’t even fixed yet. What a day that was. It was never the same after the accident. After the GTO I went through several new cars but they were just cars if you know what I mean.
Then it happened again! I fell in love again! With visions of being able to leap large boulders and cross deep creeks in the outback, I bought a 1970 Toyota Landcruiser. It was red beauty. It even came with it’s own metric tool kit for a real emergency. I was ready for the great outdoors! I even added an AM/FM radio as an option.
I LOVED THAT CAR!
It was a short relationship. She had only 6000 miles on her when I dumped her. No way I’m keeping a car when I can’t hear the radio driving at 55 MPH. I went through several more loves until it happened again.
I found another love. A 1972 Chevy Blazer. It had everything…lockout hubs, 4 on the floor, skid plates, 2 batteries. Bring on the outdoors. I was ready!
I LOVED THAT TRUCK!
It didn’t take me long to plan a back packing trip in the Sierras with my best friend. Our trip went as planned. We found some old logging roads into a remote area. We crossed a couple of creeks and finally reached the end of the trail only to find a Volkswagen Bus parked in the opening. Can you imagine how I felt! So much for needing 4 wheel drive.
A few years and a few more new cars later, I felt my youth slipping away. I was almost 40 and never had a sports car. I told my financial manager…I want a sports car! Boy was she a tough sell but being the salesman I am and convincing her that I spend a gazillion hours a week in my car for work, she broke down and gave her approval. And there I was…on the prowl for the coolest sports car in Aberdeen, South Dakota. It didn’t take me long to find a brand spanking new 1975 ½ Datsun 260Z. Metallic brown with black interior, 5 speed on the floor…I’m set!
I LOVED THAT CAR!
70, 80, 90, 110…this baby really moved. I spent hours and hours polishing and cleaning her. No way I was going to have a dirty car. One Saturday afternoon I decided to take her out for a spin when I notice something on the trunk lid. Large letters the size of a basketball were scratched on the trunk. The closer I got, the madder I got. W – A – D – E. Boy was I hot. I turned around and went back into the house looking for my 5 year old son…by the way his name is Wade. I confronted him and asked him how his name got on Dad’s sports car. His reply was quick – “Suzy made me do it.” Suzy was the 5 year old blonde bombshell that lived across the street and was the neighborhood ringleader. After a brief “calm” discussion with him I decided he should be the one to “fix” it. I got out the rubbing compound, gave him a rag and told him to rub until he doesn’t see his name. I went back to check on him about and hour or so later. Poor kid really looked beat and tired. I decided to let him off the hook with a promise not to ever listen to Suzy again.
The 260Z was my last real love. I’ve had other new cars since then but it’s not the same anymore. Age and no expense checks have mellowed me.
I AM ON THE ROAD TO RECOVERY!!
Then along came the 80s and the personal computer.
HONEY, I NEED A COMPUTER!
Somewhere in the back of my mind, the wheels were already spinning. Newer, bigger, better, faster became entrenched in my most inner being. Computers, computers, computers …I couldn’t get them out of my mind.
I LOVE COMPUTERS!
There you have it. The Reader’s Digest condensed story of my life.
My ROAD TO RECOVERY is now the onramp to the INFORMATION SUPER HIGHWAY!
Do you have an uplifting or entertaining story you would like to tell? We would love to hear it!